Tag Archives: dairy-free

Juicing and Blending

Juicing and blending pinJuicing and blending are effective ways to get maximum nutrients from your fresh vegetables and fruits.  Both methods have benefits and we prefer to do both daily in our household.  We usually have a vegetable-based juice in the mornings, and an afternoon smoothie with more fruits and superfood powders (and the odd leafy greens blended in).

I should mention that these tips below are for general health and not a protocol for healing any specific illness or for detoxing. Those guidelines are often different, as there are certain foods that may be off-limits or at the very least, quantities of certain foods that will be restricted.

These are simply tips that have worked for our family, with the purpose of bringing greater health and vitality to our lives.

Juicing

Juicing is a great way to get essential nutrients into your body without it having to break down fibre.  The nutrients and energy is absorbed into your body instantly.  For this reason, it is better to limit fruit quantities as it could cause unstable blood-sugar levels.

  • Keep your juices green – use only the amount of sweet vegetables and fruit that you would eat. Eg. one carrot, one apple, half a beetroot, and then the rest should be leafy greens
  • If you are using green powders, I personally prefer juiced grass powders, not just green powders
  • A squeeze of lemon juice with greens can help with the more bitter flavour.
  • You might like to start with gentler tasting greens, such as spinach, and when you get used to the taste use a variety of others (collards, kale, arugula, meslun, etc).
  • Have your juice on an empty stomach for maximum absorption of the nutrients.
  • Wait ½ hour before eating.
  • Don’t use as a complete meal replacement.
  • ‘Chew’ your juice, don’t knock it back fast, as your body benefits from pre-digesting it in your mouth first.

Blending

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Smoothies are a great way of getting fibre into your diet. The best way to have it is to drink it straight away (same goes for juices).

  • Don’t overblend, as it can break the fibre down too much.
  • Add in superfood powders into your smoothie, such as spirulina, acai, lucuma, maca or other blends.  Choose only the best organic powders and blends.  Chia seeds and ground flax seeds are also a great addition.
  • Avoid adding in any other vegetables, except leafy greens, as they don’t tend to combine well with fruits (your body processes them differently).
  • I tend to keep smoothies as an afternoon pick-me-up, so they generally have a base of berries, a banana to thicken them up, raw milk (or fresh nut milk) and yoghurt or kefir.

If you’re able to make the investment, I’d recommend buying a cold-pressed or masticating juicer that squeezes out the juice (we use a Champion – the Norwalk is the best but very expensive!).  The cheaper centrifugal juicers (the ones that spin) destroy much of the nutrients.

The good people at Food Matters have this Juicer Buyer Guide which gives some detailed information on juicers:

Here’s a favourite ‘Banana-Chocolate-Coconut’ smoothie of ours (Serves 2):

  • 1 cup fresh coconut water or milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange (juice and pulp)
  • 1 or 2 peeled kiwifruit
  • A large handful of blueberries
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 1T lucuma powder
  • 1T cacao powder
  • 1T bee pollen
  • 1T maca powder (optional)

 Do you have a favourite juicing or blending recipe you’d like to share?

{This post contains an affiliate link}.

{Linked up at Good Tips Tuesday}

Raw Christmas Truffles

Raw Christmas truffles

These are so simple and so good!

In a food processor, simply whiz up 2 cups of almonds until finely ground (or use almond meal).  Add 2 cups of raisins (or whatever dried fruit you have), and 2 tablespoons of raw cacao.  You may need to add a little water to get the consistency right – you should be able to roll into balls without it being too wet.

Roll into balls and gently flatten.

Very gently heat some raw chocolate until it melts.  Or if you’re in the southern hemisphere this Christmas, put in a bowl outside until it melts!  {NB. Your raw chocolate will no longer be raw if you heat to over 106 degrees Fahrenheit}.

Then simply decorate with raw pumpkin seeds and goji berries.

Enjoy this simple and healthy treat with your family this Christmas.

{Linked up at Try a New Recipe Tuesday}

Slow Cooker Apples

slow cooker apples pin

Here’s an easy recipe for all those apples during harvest time – it’s so easy it’s almost embarrassing.  But I’ll tell you anyway since it’s a great idea. 🙂

I’d cut up some apples the other day but had some other things to do besides keeping an eye on a pot simmering. Three bags of organic juicing apples that weren’t too great for eating had to have a purpose before they weren’t useful for anything.

slow cooker apples 1

So the apples all went into my slow cooker for the afternoon, skin and all, and covered with water.  When they came out about 4 hours later I had the most beautifully stewed apples.  [By the way, leaving the skins on provides some dietary fibre].

I blended them up in batches, keep some in the fridge, and the rest has gone in the freezer.

We hung onto the leftover water and the kids had warm apple ‘tea’.  It was so sweet, no added sweetener needed.slow cooker apples 4

If you don’t have a high speed blender, you might be want to peel the apples first as they may not blend up completely.

It’s got me thinking what else I can use my slow cooker for… hmmm… watch this space. 🙂

** If you’re in the intro stages of the GAPS Diet, make sure you peel the apples.

{You might also be interested in Breakfast Stewed Apples}

slow cooker apples 2

Vegetable Tagine

Vegetable tagine

Here’s a yummy and economical idea for meal that you can adapt according to what you have in the pantry.

I didn’t follow a recipe when I made this, but really it’s so easy that you shouldn’t have any trouble whipping up your own version.  Just taste test when checking the dish, and add extra seasoning, more tomato puree or more stock if necessary.

Don’t be shy about adding a good few tablespoons of spices to this dish.  If you overdo it, you can always stir in some natural yoghurt when serving. 🙂

Ingredients

  • Diced root vegetables (about a quarter medium crown pumpkin, or combination of carrots, kumara, sweet potatoes, butternut pumpkin, parsnip)
  • Chick peas (soaked overnight, rinsed, and simmered until soft)
  • Finely diced onion
  • Crushed garlic
  • Homemade stock (I prefer chicken stock)
  • Tomato puree (I used tomato passata sauce)
  • Dried prunes
  • Spices (whatever combination you have of coriander, cumin, ras-el-hanout, turmeric, cinnamon, ground ginger and sweet paprika)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Put your diced vegetables in a large roasting dish with a splash of olive oil and roast on medium heat.  Stir gently during cooking time (careful not to break them up too much) and remove when just soft.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, gently simmer the chick peas until soft.
  3. Gently pan fry onions with spices, and add garlic towards the end of cooking time.
  4. Add onion mix and chick peas to roasting dish, add chopped prunes and tomato puree and stock.
  5. Cooked covered for about an hour and a half in a moderate oven.  Check periodically and if the vegetables start to dry out, add more stock or water.

If you haven’t prepared stock and chick peas in advance, you could always use canned chick peas and a good quality organic liquid stock.

Finish with fresh coriander and flaked almonds.

NB. If you’re opting to add meat into this dish, I’d recommend rubbing the raw meat with the spice mix before adding to lightly cooked onions and garlic.  If using leftover beef, lamb or chicken, add in during the last 15m of cooking time.

If you’re not doing a totally vegetarian version, some homemade chicken stock would be a great choice as your stock base.

[This recipe is linked up at Frugal Family Favourites]

Homemade Jelly (Jello)

jelly

I’ve had to find some creative ways lately to get Vitamin C powder into my little ones.  More on that another time. 🙂

But here’s one sneaky way where I made some jelly, waited until it cooled, and then added the powder in before it set.

Of course, jelly is a fun treat even when there’s no medicinal intent. 🙂 I think we’ll be making these for parties this year.

Ingredients

1 metric Tablespoon of gelatine
100ml (1/2 cup) boiling water
400ml fruit juice

Method

Dissolve gelatine in boiling water.  Then simply add fruit juice, either freshly squeezed with pulp out, or the best quality fruit juice (preferably organic) you can get.  Set in fridge.

I did a double batch and served in Turkish tea glasses and also made some mini jellies in moulds.  You might like to serve with fresh fruit such as blueberries.

Sauerkraut

sauerkraut

I made this sauerkraut with purple cabbage.

Sally Fallon’s book ‘Nourishing Traditions‘ has the best write-up about the benefits of fermented vegetables and fruit that I’ve found anywhere.  I encourage you to get hold of this fantastic resource if you can.

Fermented vegetables foods should form part of your daily diet, and if you’re on the GAPS Diet they should be served with every meal.  The great thing is, they are easy to make.  You should introduce them into your diet slowly, starting with one teaspoon a day and gradually increasing, as your digestion will need to adjust to the change.  Your gut will thank you for it. 🙂  As well as the probiotic benefits, sauerkraut is also high in Vitamins A and C.

There is no need to add vinegar or any preservatives to your cabbage, as the naturally occurring lactic acid keeps your vegetables preserved as well as promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.

GAPS Diet

Traditional foods on the GAPS diet – sauerkraut, fermented carrots, eggs and unsalted butter.

Ingredients

1 medium cabbage (core removed)
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons of liquid whey drained from homemade yoghurt (or an additional 1 tablespoon of sea salt if unavailable)

Method

1)  Finely slice cabbage.

2)  Pound with wooden hammer to release juices for about 10m.

3)  Place in mason jar and press down so the juices rise to the top.  There should be about an inch from the top of the jar.  Too much space and there will be too much oxygen and the fermenting won’t work.  Too little space and it will overflow.

4)  Cover tightly and leave in a warm place for about 3 days.  Store in the fridge.

If you are concerned as to whether it has worked, you will know by whether it smells OK or not.  The sauerkraut should be a little pungent and will taste fizzy.  If it has gone bad, you will surely know as nothing will convince you to eat it. 🙂  It should last for many months in the fridge.

For further info on sauerkraut, you might like to read this article in Natural News.

Raw Strawberry Pie

Raw Strawberry Pie

This pie that we had last night at Thanksgiving was so good that I had to post this as soon as possible… what’s not to love about fresh dates, organic strawberries, and a creamy raw filling of cashews and vanilla?  Simply beautiful.  And so easy to make.

I’ve done quantities here but bear in mind that sometimes you need to increase or decrease depending on your ingredients (eg. fresh dates might be more or less moist at different times).  I also made a large pie, so if you weren’t feeding so many people, you could decrease the quantities for the crust.  Feel confident to experiment a little!

Ingredients

About 4 cups of fresh strawberries (organic if you’re able); plus:

Crust

2 cups ground almonds
1 cup medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Cream Filling

2 cups raw cashews
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 Tablespoon lemon zest (you might like to start with 1 and add more to suit taste)
1/2 cup lemon juice (and a little extra just in case)
seeds from 2 vanilla beans (or 2 Tablespoons alcohol-free extract)

Glaze

A good handful of fresh strawberries
1 or 2 Tablespoons organic maple syrup (to taste)
A squeeze of lemon juice

PIe crust

If you’re starting with whole almonds, whizz up in food processor until as fine as possible.  Add other crust ingredients.  Then, after sprinkling a pie dish with desiccated coconut to prevent sticking, press mixture in.  You might like to do a decorative edge.

Refrigerate for about an hour before completing the rest of the pie.

crust with creme

I forgot to take a photo before the placing the cream on, but I sliced a handful of the strawberries in 4, and placed the 2 centre slices of each strawberry on the crust.  I filled the pie crust with a single layer. The outside parts of the cut strawberries I set aside for the topping.

Next up, blend the cashew cream ingredients in a blender.  Because I don’t have a high-speed blender, like a VitaMix or Blendtec, I find that I have to blend well and then transfer the mixture to my NutriBullet to get a really fine cream.  You might not mind it with a few little chunks, but I preferred it to be as creamy as possible.

Taste your cream:  does it need a little extra sqeeze of lemon juice or some more vanilla?  Is it nice and thick and smooth?  If you need to add more liquid, try a little more coconut oil first (a little at a time so you don’t overdo it) as the oil will set solid.

Spread evenly over pie crust with sliced strawberries.  At this stage, you can either refrigerate and keep for up to a week, or you can prepare the top with your strawberries, which ideally will need to be eaten within 3 days once they are assembled.

Raw strawberry pie

Blend up your glaze ingredients.

And finally, mix your sliced strawberry halves in a bowl with the glaze and place on top of the cream.  Garnish with some fresh mint leaves. Perfect.

Serve yourself a large slice and enjoy!

{GAPS Notes: the ingredients are GAPS-friendly but it is not recommended to fill up on tons of sweet things. 🙂  So if you’re on GAPS, go easy on your portion size.}

Kale Chips

I can’t recall where I first came across these beauties – I think it was viewing the dehydrated version on the health shop shelf with a hefty priced tag for a small handful, and thinking that I could do that myself.  I looked on the internet today, and turns out they are everywhere, some recipes with added spices or nutritional yeast.

Here’s how I do them:

You’ll need:
1 bunch of kale (curly leaf kale is my favourite)
1T olive oil
A good pinch of sea salt

1)  Simply wash and dry with a clean tea towel.

2)  In an oven dish, spread and coat well with oil and salt.  Don’t overdo the salt – I got a bit carried away once and it overpowers the natural taste of the kale.

3)  Dehydrate in your oven (if you don’t have a dehydrator) for about 4 hours on the lowest setting.  Or, bake at a medium heat (170 degrees Celcius) for about 10m.

4)  The chips should be crispy but retain their green colour.

And it’s that simple.  If you have any left, you can store them for a couple of days in an airtight container in the pantry.

Last night I added them on top of oven-baked chicken with lentils.

{GAPS Notes: olive oil is not recommended on the GAPS Diet when heated. You could substitute for a little butter.}

[Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and raw if dehydrated at less than 40 degrees Celcius]

Grain-Free Granola

Grain-free granola

This is the result of an experiment today with creating a grain-free granola that my husband can take in a bag with him to work when he has to be out the door early.  I prefer to have mostly fruit breakfasts, but they are not always practical to prepare and eat unless you’re at home.

We are moving towards going without grains for a while, as they are off limits on the GAPS diet.  This resembles trail mix that has been lightly toasted and sweetened, with the walnuts and coconut being a great replacement for the texture that rolled oats normally gives.  Well I think so anyway. 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or vanilla powder)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey

Method

1) Gently melt the honey and oil together.  Add cinnamon and dissolve.

2)  Combine other ingredients in a large oven dish.  You may like to leave the raisins out until the end, and add in once the granola has cooled.  I did it today with them in, as I felt like having them coated thoroughly with the honey and oil mix.

3)  Pour honey and oil mixture over and combine well.

4)  Bake on a medium heat (about 150 degrees Celcius) for about 45m, checking regulary and stirring to stop it burning on top.

The Nourishing Traditions way would be to use nuts and seeds that have been soaked and dried previously.  If you’re doing it this way, well done for being organised and giving your body the optimal health benefits of soaking seeds and nuts!  I haven’t been quite as organised lately with that, plus our winter power bills have already been huge without me adding dehydrating all day to it.  So this was all thrown together today on the spur of the moment.

I over-did the honey quantity a little initially, so added in some ground flax seeds halfway through the cooking time to soak up the excess liquid.  But it all turned out great, and I couldn’t resist adding a few more coconut flakes at the end.  If I had goji berries and cranberries, I would have added in a handful of those as well.

1 week later:  I made this again today but didn’t leave it until evening this time to prepare for the next day!  So I soaked the nuts and seeds and added them in as per recipe above.  All turned out well and this time it will be that little bit better on the ol’ digestive system. 🙂

[Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free]

{Linked up at Try a New Recipe Tuesday}

Coconut Cacao Cake

Cacao coconut cakeThis is the cake I made for my girls’ birthday recently.  They had a heart-shaped one each and choose some ribbon to put around the outside.  Once again, in all the flurry, I didn’t manage to get a photo of the final product.  But here’s a big slice that was left after the party.

The recipe is from Radically Natural Living, but I made a couple of changes to the recipe to suit our preferences (they have given me permission to share it here – please visit their site for the original recipe).

It’s certainly not the cheapest cake to make, with all those eggs, cacao and raw honey, but as a special treat it’s a real winner.  There’s no gluten (in fact, there’s no grains at all), no dairy in this version, and no refined sugar.

Ingredients

8 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 cup cacao powder
8 eggs
1 cup raw local honey
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup coconut flour

Method

1)  Melt the oil in a saucepan then add cacao powder and cinnamon until dissolved.

2)  In a food processor, whisk the eggs, adding one at a time through the top while the mixer is going. Then add the honey, vanilla and salt into the food processor and pulse.

3)  Add the coconut flour and the cacao/oil mixture and process until there are no lumps. Let it sit for a couple of minutes while the coconut flour soaks up the liquid.

4)  Pour the mixture into a greased and lined cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes at 170 degrees Celcius, until knife comes out clean.

Once the cake has cooled, add your homemade frosting, which for us was the recipe I use for Raw Chocolate Mousse.

A little of the writing still showing and one of my husband's homemade raw chocolates on top - so good!

A little of the writing still showing and one of my husband’s homemade raw chocolates on top – so good!

{GAPS Notes: Cacao is not usually recommended on the GAPS Diet, but some people find they can have it after they’ve been on the Diet for a while.  Baking soda is also not recommended as it can interfere with stomach acid.  The original recipe uses butter instead of coconut oil}.

[Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free].